Listen to the pumping beats of a 2013 Formula One racing car, and then listen to the neutralized sound of a 2014 Formula One racing car. There’s a distinctive difference between them. Firstly, the car from 2013 sounds unjustifiably loud, there’s nothing rational about it. Driven by new health and safety norms, new standards were applied and Formula One became quiet.
But if any racing fan could choose, they would bring back that painfully irrational sound in the blink of an eye. Because, boy, did we love the sound and thrill it gave us. It was what made Formula One the number One, a not-of-this-earth experience, driven by heart — not by mind.
SMART MEANS RULES — RULES MEAN LIMITATIONS
Rational logic cries for standards, except that us humans aren’t made to live by them. From the moment we create standards, we seek ways to get rid of them. Rules and regulations are superficial. We’ve lived our lives for the past 10,000 years with only one logical instinct: to survive and improve. And we’ve been pretty good at it. We’ve used our instincts and intuition to discover, learn, adapt, and survive. We’ve wandered the Earth with those skills and, with the knowledge that danger could lurk behind every corner, we’ve set sail across oceans, we’ve climbed mountains, and we’ve even set foot on the moon. There’s no rational answer to justify why we did these things, except that we are explorers designed by nature. It was just smart to be stupid.
THE FACT IS, IF WE DIDN’T HAVE STUPID THOUGHTS, WE’D HAVE NO INTERESTING THOUGHTS AT ALL. SMART MAY HAVE THE BRAINS… BUT STUPID HAS THE BALLS.
Now our lives are automation-led. We are driven by centralized algorithms that manage every facet of our daily lives. And although the original big idea was honest and has improved our lives, it often fails to really fulfill our needs. Our brains are satisfied, but our hearts are unfulfilled and eagerly waiting to be amazed. We’ve turned lazy and have let technology guide our journey of discovery.
A good example of such technological advancement is the gathering of big data. When Spotify appeared, it was pure magic. I discovered more songs in a month than I had in my entire life to date. But after years of using it, I feel I’m stuck in an infinite loop with the same style of music crying from my speakers. For some reason, the data that I left behind has categorized me specifically as an Indie listener. And since then it’s getting harder to break out of this mould. The same goes for Netflix. The better Netflix gets to know me, the harder it is to get rid of the persona that it has of me. Sure, it’s good to suggest new things that I previously didn’t know. And, it goes without saying that it’s nice to be recognized and given what I love. But what I also love are the unexpected and unpredictable discoveries that broaden my mind and surprise me. The magic is gone.